When you are heading to college to study for a new career, one of the most critical aspects you must think about is where you’ll live during your college years. Whether you’re in your first year of study or the last year, you have to decide on whether to live on campus or outside the campus and even weigh the pros and cons of each option.  

Getting a good place to live in a new city or country can feel like an uphill task. You want to ensure that the living space you pick is not just in a perfect location, but its price fits within your budget. Most colleges offer students a wide range of housing options. However, you’ll need to figure out which one works best for you.  

If you’re getting ready to join college soon, here are some useful tips on how to make student living work for you as you study for a new career:  

Get An Off-Campus Apartment Near College 

Due to the high demand for on-campus living, it’s bound to be a lot more costly compared to off-campus. One of the ways you can cut down on your living expenses is to get an apartment off-campus that’s located near the college. The proximity of the apartment to your college will make it easier to get students who would be willing to share the space with you and keep you from incurring high transport costs. Avoid leasing apartments that are too far from the college. Even though they may be super cheap, getting to college on time will be a challenge, and the cost of train or bus rides will be high. You’ll also experience difficulties finding potential housemates when the apartment is located too far from the university.  

Get A Housemate To Share Your Living Space  

You can make student living work for you better by sharing an off-campus apartment. By sharing your living space, you split rent and utility costs. This enables you to make some savings on your budget. When getting a housemate to share your living space, ensure that you develop a roommate contract. This will prevent potential disputes that may arise due to payments. Vet your roommate before allowing them to share your space. This will ensure that you share your space with people who are responsible enough to take care of your living space whenever you are away.  

Make Your Own Food 

One of the things you should do before heading off to college is to learn how to make your favorite food. When you get an apartment off-campus, you’ll have your own kitchen. You can take advantage of this to make your own food during your time in college. This will save you a whole lot of money that you would otherwise have spent in restaurants and make college living work for you as you study your new career.  

Besides enabling you to manage your spending better, making your own food while in college ensures that you eat healthy food. You’ll be able to reduce your intake of junk foods by reducing the number of trips that you make to fast-foods. This will reduce your risk of becoming obese.  

Prioritize Recreation 

Student living isn’t just about reading – you need to engage in recreation activities to stay healthy as you study for your new career. When choosing a place to live, choose an apartment like Sunrise Village that has recreational facilities. Ideally, the more facilities there are in your living area, the less it’ll cost you seeking recreation elsewhere. Having recreational facilities such as game rooms, basketball courts, pools, and fitness centers can go a long way in enhancing the quality of your life during college and keep you from making wrong choices.  

Leverage Discount Coupons 

Making your own food as a student means that you’ll be shopping for groceries every so often. To make student living work for you while you study for a new career, consider searching the internet regularly to get grocery coupons. Maximizing discount coupons enable you to reduce your grocery budget. For instance, though a one-dollar discount on a single item may seem like a small amount, you’ll be able to save a sizeable amount when you get several items with such a discount. Also, consider buying consumables like tissue rolls in bulk. Doing this will enable you to take advantage of package deals that often come with good discounts. 

Cut Down On Entertainment Cost By Streaming  

Cable TV can be costly for a student. It’s a recurrent cost that you don’t need. Besides, you’ll be spending most of your time in school – not watching the television. Instead of spending money paying for a pay-TV service, consider signing up for a streaming service for entertainment. This will cost you a fraction of the amount that you’d pay for cable TV. A great entertainment streaming site to sign-up for is Netflix. The beauty of streaming entertainment is that you don’t have to spend money to pay for a streaming service. Consider searching for free but legal streaming sites where you can watch TV shows and moves. Identify the sites to stream entertainment and enjoy great content with your roommates on a low budget.  

Avoid Doing Assignments Last Minute 

As they pursue their careers, most students overlook the need to do assignments early. Most of them find it perfectly fine to start their assignments late – often the night before it falls due. While some still manage to get good scores, this isn’t a good idea because of the stress it causes. Often, you’ll not have an idea of how much work you need to do until you start doing the assignment. When you have limited time to get the work done and too much to do, you’re likely to panic and not do well in the assignment. At the same time, failing to hand the assignment in means you’ll lose some marks. To make college living easier for you, make an effort to do your assignments early and ensure that the tasks don’t pile up to avoid stress and sleepless nights.  

Take Good Care Of Your Leased Apartment 

When you lease an apartment, your landlord will expect you to leave it in the condition that you found it in. If you don’t take good care of it, you’ll be required to pay for any damages that are beyond the ordinary tear and wear. To avoid incurring hefty repair costs, consider maintaining the apartment well and cleaning it on a daily basis.  

Remember, the longer you keep the apartment uncleaned, the more cleaning agents you’ll require. This means spending more money on the purchase of cleaning solutions. When you’re sharing an apartment, ensure that you share cleaning responsibilities with your roommates by creating a cleaning schedule. This will keep the apartment clean at all times and ensure that domestic pests like rats that can damage the apartment are kept at bay.  

Cut Transport Costs By Cycling To School  

When you’re living off-campus, the closer you are to the campus, the lesser the amount you’ll spend on transport. But you don’t have to spend money on transport. A great way to make student living work for you while studying for your new career is to cycle to school instead of catching a train or bus ride. Getting on a bike is not just a cost-effective way of getting to school when you’re living off-campus. It’s also a great way of keeping yourself healthy. Even so, cycling is not just great for students who live off-campus. If you live on-campus, you can use a bike to get around the campus – it’s a great way to stay healthy.  

Ditch New Books For Second-Hand Books  

Each year, college students spend about $1200 buying school materials, including books, on average. Even worse, most students don’t find these books useful once they are done with the school year. This is a significant amount that you can reduce by buying second-hand books and reusing them. A great place to search and purchase second-hand books is Amazon and other sites that sell used books like Textbooks.com. Besides buying second-hand books, you can make student living work for you while studying for your career by maintaining the books in good condition and selling them off to get your cashback once you’re through with the school year. 

Manage Your Time Well 

The key to making your student life successful is to manage your time well. By doing so, you’ll be able to achieve more within less time. You’ll also be able to balance studies and play. As you plan your time, ensure that you engage in the activities that are scheduled by your college or class. This will enable you to develop healthy relationships with other students and lecturers.  

If you decide to pick additional responsibilities like working while you pursue a career, your time becomes even more precious. To succeed in getting everything done, you’ll need to become more intentional in the way you spend time. The best way to manage your time well is to schedule all activities. Ideally, your schedule should include study time, class time, work time, and recreational time.  

With so many demands on your time, you’ll need to break any procrastination tendencies that you may have developed in the past. Make an effort to get things done immediately. If you have a term paper to write and a whole semester to complete it, you need to start working on it right away. You’re better off turning it into your professor early than having to deal with the stress of completing it at the last minute.  

Get A Part-Time Job 

As you pursue your career in college, you may want to work part-time and earn some extra income. Check whether your college has work experience programs and take advantage of them. Most of the skills that you’ll need to apply in the job market are not taught at the university. This is precisely why you should leverage any work experience you get. Doing this will boost your resume and help you to get some contacts in the industry.  

Work-based programs can also give you a clear idea of the kind of work you want to do and the one you don’t want to do. If the course you’re taking does not have a work-based program, consider talking to the career service officer in your campus for help. When you do this, you’ll be advised on what to do to get a work opportunity and even get linkage with industry contacts who already have student placement opportunities.   

Practice Self Care 

As you pursue a new career, you’ll have so many demands on your time. Prioritizing your well-being is the only way you’ll be able to succeed in the things you do. The way to take care of yourself is to ensure that you get enough sleep and eat well. With assignments, work, class time, and exams to juggle, eating well, and getting enough sleep may be what you need to manage all your responsibilities. Your body needs to be in good shape. If you don’t sleep well, you’ll have difficulties focusing on tasks and being productive. Failing to eat well will weigh your body down and you’ll end up feeling sick. 

When you eat and sleep well, your body will rejuvenate well, so you’re ready to face the next day. In addition to eating and sleeping well, consider engaging in activities that destress your mind. For instance, you could go out for a walk, watch a movie or a TV show, or read a book for just an hour every day. Though this may seem like a waste of time, taking this break every so often will help you develop a healthy mindset and lifestyle that makes you more efficient in completing your day-to-day tasks.   

Final Thoughts  

Heading to college to pursue a new career can be challenging, particularly when you have no idea of how to make your student life a success. But this does not have to be the case. To make your student living work for you, apply the tips discussed above.